Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Modern Languages and Literatures


This thesis presents an analysis of six narratives that contribute to the collective memory of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. In this study, I attempt to pinpoint the commonalities, motivations, and differences in three literary texts - Un día de octubre en Santiago (Carmen Castillo, 1982), Mi verdad (Marcia Alejandra Merino, 1992), La vida doble (Arturo Fontaine, 2010), and three documentary films - La Flaca Alejandra (Carmen Castillo, 1993), Chile, la memoria obstinada (Patricio Guzmán, 1997), and Mi vida con Carlos (Germán Berger, 2008). These literary and visual narratives are deliberate efforts to shape the memories of the dictatorial past in order to contribute to the collective memory of this past. These works are analyzed using a variety of ideas and theories on memory and postmemory. I argue that Carmen Castillo, Marcia Alejandra Merino, Arturo Fontaine, Patricio Guzmán, and Germán Berger are all "cultural carriers" (as defined by Neal J. Smelser) - people who deliberately shape the memory stemming from cultural trauma, which in the case of Chile is based on the overthrow of president Salvador Allende and the installation of a repressive military regime led by General Augusto Pinochet.

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